LANA MICHELIN – May. 25, 2018 1:30 p.m.
Dozens of fast-food connoisseurs gave Red Deer’s new Food Truck Friday location a big thumbs up during a sweltering noon-hour gathering at Carnival Cinemas.
Space for more food trucks, tables, parking — and that fundamental of all needs, washrooms — gave the new theatre parking lot space the edge over the former spot on Ross Street.
“Oh, I really think it’s fantastic. There’s so much more room for many different people here than in the downtown,” said Sheiligh Welling, who plans to become a regular at the weekly gathering of food trucks.
“I love it here,” added Rehima Alli, who came down for lunch with her toddler son Anakin. Not only is there a nice variety of food — from grilled cheese to several ethnic selections — but it’s a chance “to build a community together.”
It was certainly a carnival atmosphere in the theatre parking lot, with winding line-ups of customers waiting to place their orders and many conversations happening over lunch tables set up in the parking lot.
Seven of the kitchens-on-wheels made it to the official opening of food truck season in Red Deer and set up shop on the east-side of the theatre. Berries ‘n Bowls, was joined by Queen Bees Frites and Sweets, Chedda’ Heads, Simply Spice, The Stache, Zinger Rings/Mini Donuts and Junior Beans.
Considering Friday’s high of 27 C, many patrons were enjoying large smoothie fruit bowls from Berries ‘n Bowls, operated by Randy and Gayle Holt.
The Razz is one of the refreshing, healthy options, featuring delicious blueberries, kiwi, bananas, and of course, raspberries — all topped with shredded coconut and lined with granola. It’s a raspberry’s lover’s delight, said Randy — who makes an equally cool bowl for strawberry lovers.
There was still lots of room for additional food trucks, should the new location really catch on in future.
Becky Traptow, co-owner of Junior Beans, called it, “It s a great turn out and a great day.” The new location “has more visibility, more parking and bathrooms, I think it will be great,” she added.
One of the special features on opening Friday was free gift cards given to the first patrons who contributed to the Red Deer Food Bank. The 2019 Canada Winter Games board partnered in this promotion and chair Lyn Radford considered it a success. “We got lots of donations.”